Upcoming Somali elections important step towards democracy

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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gives statements about Syria, Gaza and the downing of a Malaysian airline over Ukraine July 17, 2014 at UN headquarters in New York.

JOHANNESBURG – Somalia’s forthcoming October presidential elections are an important milestone in the country’s journey towards democracy, the United Nations Secretary-General says.

On Tuesday Ban Ki-moon welcomed an announcement by Somalia’s Federal Indirect Elections Implementation Team (FIEIT)of a timetable for the 2016 electoral process.

The timetable, which has been endorsed by Somalia’s National Leadership Forum, (NLF) will see a new federal parliament chosen between September 24 and October 10 and a new president by October 30.

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“The Secretary-General trusts that the agreed timetable will be adhered to, and urges all parties to refrain from any action that would cause further delay,” a statement by Ki-moon read.

He further welcomed the National Leadership Forum’s commitment to ensure transition towards a multi-party system by 2018, ahead of elections in 2020.

“The Secretary-General emphasises the importance of Somalia’s 2016 electoral process being conducted in a transparent, credible and inclusive manner, and in a climate of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the statement said, adding that in this regard, Ki-moon commended in particular the renewed commitment of the NLF to ensure that one-third of Parliamentary seats are set aside for female candidate.

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